From our front door to the Pleasant Grove trail system is about 200 yards and the kids love it. With spring in the air we hiked up what we call Balboa mountain for a beautiful view of the valley.
Kate got everyone pretty good with her April Fools Day pranks so her sisters retaliated by putting a live chicken in her room!
The past two weeks we’ve been receiving some sorely needed snow storms which is not only good for snow pact and water supply for the year but also skiing! Sundance is close, convenient, has short lines and is perfect for beginners and intermediate skiers.
Another fun filled Saturday morning at Nickel City in Orem for the Willis Group circle of friends. Thanks to all who attended and spent some time catching up, reconnecting and reliving their childhood memories playing arcade games and winning tickets for prizes. If you missed it this year, not to worry, we’ll do it again next year.
My mighty Father-in-law, David Bennion, passed away this morning. Few men have impacted my life more than Dad B. What a life! He got the girl and had a marriage for the ages, he served a mission, was bishop numerous times, served again as a young mission president, made a career fighting for the justice of others, had six incredible children, brought countless people to Jesus Christ, he was the greatest missionary I ever knew, trained the church’s leaders of today including numerous who became stake presidents, and of course was a GREAT father to not just his immediate children but to many others.
D&C 18:16 “And now, if your joy will be great with one soul that you have brought unto me into the kingdom of my Father, how great will be your joy if you should bring many souls unto me!”
What joy he must be experiencing this day and what treasures he has laid up in store waiting for him. He may be the richest man in heaven.
I love you Dad B. The mightiest of men. The mightiest of lives. Till we meet again. ❤️ 💔 ❤️
The memorial service will be at 3396 North 900 West in Pleasant Grove, Utah on Saturday January 12th at 11am with a viewing beforehand from 9:30 to 10:45. All are invited and in fact I encourage all to attend. It will be a powerful experience.
Born in California in 1940, David Jacobsen Bennion spent most of his growing up and adult years in Palo Alto and his summers on Balboa Island. Though a mighty man in both body and spirit, David had the gentlest of hearts. He would first want to tell his wife, Connie, that he adores her beyond measure and thank her for giving him such a beautiful life.
Living with Dad meant hearing classical music in the wee hours of the morning, eating his homemade breakfasts, kneeling in family prayer, studying scriptures together, being chauffeured and made to feel the job was a great privilege, being read to, discovering love notes to Mom he’d stashed about the house, and seeing his eyes sparkle as he lovingly teased his wife or landed on a clever pun. He worked with us on our goals—whether it was his son’s basketball, tennis with a daughter at 5 am, or building blocks with a toddler. He’d say, “Let’s make a memory,” or “Connie, let’s make plans,” and adventures were sure to follow (perhaps within the hour)—it might be fishing with grandkids, a one-on-one bike ride, or piling into the car to go beaching, skiing, or hiking. He was not democratic—he’d call for family votes, but we all knew he’d declare Mom’s vote the winner. His deep base sang us to sleep—songs like Swing Low Sweet Chariot, Sixteen Tons, I Walk the Line, Amazing Grace, or Down in the Valley.
David earned his law degree at Stanford and was a highly successful trial attorney. A highlight of his career was working alongside some of the country’s top legal minds as a National Trustee for the American Inns of Court (an organization promoting a legal profession and judiciary dedicated to professionalism, ethics, civility, and excellence). He found great satisfaction in fighting for “the underdog” and was a formidable force to have on your side. However, even as a young, rising legal star, his profession never took precedence over family and faith.
David had tremendous love for God—his genuine love for all people (including the hard-to-love) was a natural extension of his faith, as was his unassailable integrity. He loved serving in various assignments for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, including full-time missions in France, Belgium, and Switzerland. Ever after, he loved to hear and speak French anywhere. He cared deeply for each missionary who served with him when he was President of the Swiss, Geneva mission as well as for those he served in various bishoprics and other Church assignments. David knew deep joy in his faith and was eager to share it with others. He watched for those in need, and he quietly helped.
We loved his witty sense of humor, and his ability to use scraps of time to make meaningful connections. He believed his greatest mission in life was to be a good father and husband—and his wife, six children, five children-in-law, and 22 grandchildren will tell you they’ve never seen it done better.
David passed away at home January 7, 2019. We love you beyond words Dad—merci pour tout.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. in the Manila First Ward Chapel, 3396 North 900 West, Pleasant Grove. Family and friends may attend a viewing from 9:30 – 10:45 a.m. prior to the services. Interment will be in the Provo City Cemetery. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.olpinmortuary.com.
We visited the Victory Ranch pool over winter break. It’s one of our family’s favorite places to go. The pool is warm, the snow is cold, the complimentary soft serve ice cream and goodies flow freely and the kids are in heaven.
Every year around Christmas time we watch Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life. One of my favorite movies of all time. It hits close to home in so many ways and has spoken to me over the years. This year while watching, a dialogue in the movie stood out to me that I never caught before. George is talking to his Father about finally getting out of Bedford Falls, the small town that he simply can’t seem to escape. His Father asks George if he’d consider taking over the small family owned building and loan business. Below is the dialogue between George and his Father after his Father asks the question.
GEORGE: “I couldn't face being cooped up for the rest of my life in a shabby little office. Oh, I'm sorry, Pop, I didn't mean that, but this business of nickels and dimes and spending all your life trying to figure out how to save 3 cents on a length of pipe ... I'd go crazy. I want to do something big and something important.”
PA BAILEY: “You know, George, I feel that in a small way, we are doing something important. Satisfying a fundamental urge. It's deep in the race for a man to want his own roof and walls and fireplace, and we're helping him get those things in our shabby little office.”
At times I’ve wondered if my “something big and something important” has passed me by. But Pa Bailey’s words hit home for me this year. That “in our small way we are doing something important.” I’m beginning to believe that our big and important is really the small and important things we are doing in our lives right now and that by consistently doing the small and important things, they become a wonderful life.
I recently traveled back to my home town of Palo Alto, the heart of the real Silicon Valley and I was reminded just how impressive the Bay Area is. Driving down 101 and the jungle of high rise commercial buildings adorned with household brand company names I wondered how it all got started and how did it take off and how long did it take and where is Silicon Valley headed? In Utah we are proud of our newly coined Silicon Slopes and the handful of commercial buildings altering the skyline. It’s exciting and thrilling to see local companies taking off, Omniture being the prefect example recently selling for billions of dollars after its meteoric rise from our very own Provo. This article offers a fun look into the future and I can’t help but wonder with excitement what our little valley will look like a decade from now. With the excitement also comes some concerns. I-15 is already noticeably more congested, the air quality / inversion seems worse than ever this year, fresh drinking water has always been a topic of conversation...with growth comes significant challenges and pressures on infrastructure and communities. As I drove through Silicon Valley I wondered what challenges they faced 30 years ago and how they handled them and what new challenges do they face today. Growth and change is exciting and it’ll be exciting to see how the local challenges that we face today will be addressed over the next 10 years. What issues are you most concerned with and do you see any solutions?
Thanks to all who came and took photos with Santa last week. We had a great time and got some great shots. We will definitely do it again next year. A big thank you to Bill Hammond. Bill is a perfect Santa and if you need a Santa for your own event please reach out to me. I’ll set you up with his contact info. Merry Christmas to all! With Love, Joe and Sam Willis
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